Not quite a dozen Friends gathered around a table following worship and social time at Mount Holly Meetinghouse May 14, 2017 to engage with our book of Faith and Practice. Several had brought their 1997 (or 2002) copy. An attender’s copy bloomed with colorful tabs for easy access.
As invited guest discussion leader, I asked, “When do you go to Faith & Practice?”
“When my daughter got married, we were really glad that Faith & Practice made the process of seeking the Meeting’s oversight and care so step-by-step clear.”
“I’ve found it valuable in getting acquainted with why Quakers do what they do. I’ve learned from the history sections and appreciate how the practices grow from the faith and witness over time. There’s an exciting continuity even as times change.” [This from attender who later handed the clerk his letter asking to join meeting.]
“Yes! We seek the integrity of having our faith and our ways living, our practices, connect. Those connections are refreshed when we make use of the Queries. Challenging ourselves with searching questions develops new vision, inspires new ways to witness.”
“When nominating committee asks me to be on a meeting committee, I find Faith & Practice makes clear what each committee needs to consider for the healthy functioning of our meeting as a community.”
“And clerking – when you’re asked to be clerk of a committee or of the meeting, you can find specific guidance about preparing agenda, conducting business meeting, naming and testing the sense of the meeting, working with recording clerk and others to follow up on decisions. Job descriptions are really useful!”
“For personal inspiration I go to the Extracts, where I can always find a quotation that speaks to my condition which settles me into meditation.”
Wow! Listening around that table, almost covered the F&P territory. But there’s more in the revision: Guidelines and Checklists for meetings and individuals; Resource organizations and publications shown by physical and online location; Organized so as to invite newcomers to our faith with ”how to” material later.
Interim Meeting empaneled a F&P Revision Group in 2009, which delivered the result of their labors in 2016. Once adopted in session, we can look forward to both online and print access with useful index. Making use of our book is up to us and those we inspire!